Limited usefulness. It may work for you in a pinch. Keep in mind that
it will be worthless if you are not home at the time. They also don't pump
a lot of water, especially if they have a high head Like the typical 8 foot
from the basement to outside.
Consider the alternative of a battery powered pump. Also consider that
the battery will need to be kept charged and replaced from time to time as
they don't last forever. They also have a limited ability to pump based on
the total battery power available. They will not pump a lot of water for
long. These can also double for a backup to the original pump going bad.
If you have a special problem, like frequent power outages and a need to
pump a lot of water during these times (power outages often are connected to
a lot of rain an the need to pump a lot of water, then consider something a
little more serious including a sustainable power source like a gasoline
powered pump or generator.
Zoeller and Basepump make units. Basepump says its water powered pump
will do a 10ft head with a 3/4 main at 50 psi and pump 750 GPH.
At 75 psi 1000 GPH.
For 1" main at 50 psi 10 ft head 1500 GPH
@ 75 Psi 2000 GPH at 10ft head.
Those sound like good numbers to me, no batteries to wear out no
batteries to discharge. And to knock out my city water , well our
municipal water has generator backup. Basepump & Zoeller are
automatic, nothing to worry about. You just have the float set higher
for backup. I fail to see the drawback or the thought that it is
worthless or of limited use , and no you dont have to be home thats the
point of it. Its only limited if you are on your own well.
I was not aware that there was an automatic version available. I will
have to look into that. It may well be a good backup. I am on a city water
supply and that would seldom fail due to a reasonable short time for the
same reason the primary failed.
I have the Zoeller. As I posted here last year, it saved our
bacon during an extended ( 4-day ) power outage we had - our
30 gallon sump pit was filling about every 20 minutes, in our
However, I have found that you really need to keep spare
parts on hand. I've had to replace the float switch twice.
( Though it was subsequently redesigned ).
It's a decent device - just make sure you test it
every couple of weeks to ensure that it's still in
I'm with Ransley.
Last winter I put a new sump hole in my basement and I used the "Sump
Buddy" by Bur-Cam [in Quebec Tel:(514)337-4415 ]. I got it from Home
Depot for $99 USD. I used it as a temporary pump to bail the hole
while I was getting all my other parts together. Granted, I only
needed about 3' of head, but I used the 1 1/4 hose that was supplied &
it drained the sump hole only slightly slower than a 1/2 horse pump I
eventually installed. They claim 600 GPH discharge with 5' of head.
That's some pretty serious water.
It is completely automatic as long as my municipal water is working.
[and I'm about 100 feet lower than the supply, so it isn't likely that
I'll ever lose water. Hasn't happened yet in 20 yrs anyway.]
Nothing is perfect, but I'm more secure knowing that baby is standing
by than having to rely on the batteries being good when the power
goes-- and that the power will be back before the batteries die.
[situation I can take care of if I'm home-- but those thing usually
happen when you leave for a week.]
[Gary should be along next to tell you how to make your own.]
Sure-- You can buy a fragile, complicated, not too loud alarm for
about $15. Or go to radio shack & buy a loud siren, or buzzer, a
9volt battery, a battery terminal with pigtail & a coil of speaker
wire. [$5-10 total]
Sit the alarm & battery someplace where you'll hear it & run the wire
to your sump hole. Expose the ends of both wires & arrange them so
they are at the height you want to be warned about.
Run a wire from one side of the battery to one side of the buzzer.
Solder the speaker wire- one side to the battery's other terminal and
the other to the buzzer. When the water gets high enough it will
complete the circuit. Test by touching the bare wire ends to each
Don't get Radio Shack's loudest siren and stick it behind your most
comfortable chair. I did that and nearly had a heart attack when it
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